Rivals adizero Combine: Takeaways from Chicago
CHICAGO – The final Rivals adizero Combine of the 2018 schedule took place on Saturday in Chicago, which lived up to its Windy City nickname. Over 1,200 prospects took part in the combine, with eleven invited back for Sunday’s Rivals 3 Stripe Camp.
TESTING OFF THE CHARTS
Evanston (Ill.) High safety Amir Abdullah is heading into his final summer of his high school career, and is just starting to draw some FCS and Division II interest. When it came to performances in the combine, though, it was Abdullah who emerged from more than 1,000 participants to post one of the best overall testing performances. Measuring 6-foot-1 and 194 pounds, Abdullah ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, a 4.42 shuttle, but most impressively he posted a 38-inch vertical and went over 10-feet in the broad jump. That effort earned him an invitation back to Sunday’s camp.
MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
The Swanigan name is a popular one in the Midwest, with former Purdue basketball standout Caleb Swanigan now playing in the NBA. Harvey (Ill.) Thornton wide receiver Travon Swanigan is a distant relative of the basketball-playing Swanigan, but he plans to make his name on the gridiron. His performance at Saturday’s combine included a 4.55 40-yard dash and a 4.38 shuttle at 6-foot-2 and 188 pounds. Swanigan has seen coaches from Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State through his school this spring. His recruitment was slowed because he missed all but one game of his junior year after earning all-conference honors as a sophomore.
Not all prospects invited back for Sunday’s camp were from the host state of Illinois. Class of 2020 linebacker Malik Berry made the trip from Lawrence, Kan., to earn his spot. A two-way prospect who plays quarterback and linebacker, Berry has been hearing from Kansas State, Kansas, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State already. Meanwhile, class of 2020 running back/receiver RaJa Nelson gets to run behind big Bryce Benhart, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the state of Minnesota’s 2019 class. Nelson totaled 1,000 yards rushing and receiving with 15 touchdowns, and will get a chance to showcase his skills at Sunday’s camp.
DEFENSIVE END DUO
A pair of defensive ends from the host state are headed back for Sunday’s Rivals 3 Stripe Camp. Rising senior Jordan Lawrence transferred from Normal (Ill.) University High across town to Normal Community after recording five sacks for University as a junior. He has interest from several programs, including Wyoming and Navy. The second state of Illinois defensive end to get an invite was Adrian Wilson of Lincoln Way East in suburban Chicago. As a sophomore he played behind four-star Northwestern signee Devin O’Rourke, whom he learned from throughout the season. “(O’Rourke) taught me how to use my hands," Wilson said. "On JV I am bigger than everybody, but as I move up it’s about technique.”
Quarterbacks invited back for Sunday are Valpraiso (Ind.) Wheeler’s Griffin Belt, Woodstock (Ill.) sophomore Michael Purkey, Darien (Ill.) Hinsdale South sophomore Marquese Garrett and St. Charles (Ill.) North class of 2019 prospect Peyton Brown. Rockford (Ill.) Lutheran freshman defensive end/wide receiver Trentin Woodard was another who earned an invite for Sunday.